to be inspired

aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something, by or as if by supernatural or divine influence

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Brown paper packages tied up with strings...

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Here is one of my favorite things!
It's that time of year, when gift giving may start to feel a little out of control. You second guess yourself and start to think, "Is this enough?" Well it should be, but here is a quick recipe for a simple add on.
Hit up your local dollar store, and if you are like me dig out last years Christmas cards.
Find a frame, doesn't have to be fancy and put the image in.
Perfect as a sidekick to that bottle of wine, that tin of cookies, a homemade yummy or any handmade gift for that matter.
Teacher, neighbor, someone you oops forgot
I was given this image in a frame last year as a gift from a sweet neighbor my husband has known his whole life.
Now its priceless...I love it, I adore it.. the image and the thoughtfulness!
My son stands staring into this peaceful and aw inspiring.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The gift of Maple Trees...

Pin It Now! The sweet taste of pure Maple Syrup. It's a tradition for our families to drive out to random parts of New York and Vermont to get fresh maple syrup and visit the sugar houses.
I wonder if they've ever been here...
I just find this can fascinating! This sweet little log cabin tin comes with a lot of history. Read the story of this third generation family run Maple Syrup producers...started in the 1930's and still at it! or follow them on Facebook

Check out the listing here on Etsy

Tin can reads on the bottom
"The Indians called it "SINZIBUKWUD" The Indians taught the first white settlers how to tap maple trees in the spring, then evaporate the sweet sap until it became maple syrup. In Ben Franklin's time, plans were afoot to make America self-sufficient in sugar production, using maple sugar."

It kinda seems dreamy to own your own land and produce maple syrup..another dream job of mine!
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Typical Tuesday

Pin It Now! Its only noon and I'm already feeling defeated. Being someones mom is a huge responsibility. Aside from the the necessities of food, shelter, and clothing we strive for our children to be responsible, disciplined and respectful. One day becoming amazing law abiding, productive adults. HOW does this happen? I am a SAHM of an almost two year old little boy. He is an only child so I try to keep him active in programs where he can socialize with other two year olds. We attend a weekly toddler play gym class. Offered by our local YMCA perhaps you have one near you too?

I loved it until today....

Here is the run down of our class this morning. 40 minute play class and all was going well until boredom struck 30 minutes into it. How does a little boy get bored playing in a gym. After doing the circuit of challenges a handful of times, he's like okay now what? Well the instructor is not amazing, it's like a free for all, no structure, and my son just lost interest. Some group interaction, an attempt at some form of structure play would be nice. So I looked around in envy as the other mom's watched their little ones engaged in the activity.

When out of nowhere my son runs from across the gym, puts two hands on the little boys back and pushes him down to the ground. OK,  parent. I got down to his level, and said "no, no pushing, that's not okay, you hurt him see, you can't push, say your sorry" I apologized quickly, we got our things and I cowed right out of their embarrassed and mortified. That poor child and parent, hurt and upset and all I could offer was an "I'm so sorry." Just doesn't seem like enough. NOW did any of these words actually register with my son, did he understand me? He let out a small sympathy cry and I whisked him away. Maybe my expectations are just too high at this point. I have been told that this is common of two year olds, but when does it end, and when is the lessen learned?

Now this..a little confidence booster...true story..just happened. I was walking my husband out to his car when I heard a little voice calling mommy and banging. After a quick scan of the neighborhood I spotted the little bugger two houses down across the street. A two year old, little boy, banging on the glass storm door for mommy. OK I walked over and rang the doorbell. Mom turns the corner with a smile on her face "OMG I always keep that locked, I was in the bathroom." OK stop right here, if that was my son he would be half way to Canada by now because he wouldn't have stopped to look for me. I would be a in a crazy panic. I hope that she would have come around and seen him standing there soon enough, but you never know. I hope mom and son learned a lesson today. I hope my son and I learned a lesson today. Two year olds cannot be without one eye on them at all times. They create plenty of challenges for us, everyday obstacles we somehow overcome.
Needless to say their are so many different kinds of kids and different  kinds of parents that in the end we all seem to make it work. If you have any helpful advice on how to curb this pushing thing please, I'm all ears! Pin It Now!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Snacks for an almost two year old

Pin It Now! My son has learned to open the fridge and we are embracing it. Maybe he's hungry, and wants a snack, maybe he wants to feel in control of something. So while we prepare our food he gets a choice of a snack or two. We have in bowls pre washed and cut fresh fruit and vegetables. Of course I monitor him and keep an eye out on what hes doing in there. I certainly don't leave him unattended anytime in my kitchen. I have way too many precious Pyrex dishes tucked behind unlocked cabinet doors.
So here's a glimpse at his healthy snack line up....

Green Beans

So my pink Pyrex dish is holding a ton of grapes, of course I need to help those little fingers pull out a cluster of grapes or this will be one sad mommy! Pin It Now!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday

Pin It Now! While I did not go to the major retailers on Black Friday (it's rare that I do) we did get out and walk around downtown Aiken, South Carolina.

A quaint southern town, with a large equestrian community. Rich in history, Aiken was built as an equestrian warm winter hide out for northerners in the early 20th century. We've enjoyed traditional horse shows, polo matches, (YES, you get to stomp in the divots like you're Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman) and strolls thru the beautiful Hopelands Gardens. check it out...

Polo in Aiken, an 1800's pastime..learn more here...

My sister in law owns her own business as an equine therapist (check her out here... she does amazing work.

Aiken really is the Saratoga of the south and always a lovely place to visit!

So on this Black Friday I found myself in exactly the kind of place I like to shop. At the Aiken Antique Mall, filled with so many unique equestrian antiques! I fell in love with these chairs, no they wouldn't fit in my car, so they're they sit..if you are ever in Aiken don't skip treasure hunting!!

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving with an almost two year old

Pin It Now! This year we went around the table and shared aloud our thanks. I have my husband home and safe, and thats all I need. Its true love is really all you need.

Here are some highlights of our thanksgiving feast!
Our menu:
Peters homemade onion tart
Cornbread stuffing
Homemade cranberries
Mashed potato
Broccoli gratin
And of course turkey and gravy

Travel with an almost two year old is never easy. Their attention span is so short and you can't possibly bring a ton of toys with you. We made a small survival kit for when we just needed something new to entertain. Especially when you are visiting someone who doesn't have kids.

Ideas....from our kit....
Dixie party cups for stacking, knocking over cars or bowling, or hide a toy underneath.
Balloons...gets the adults involved too floating it around the room
A small craft, making a turkey with our handprints!
A decoration (something they can touch) thanksgiving banner
I mixed a small bag of homemade play dough to go (1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tablespoons cream of tarter, koolaide pack) Then all you need to ask of your host is a cup of water, a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Mix it all together in a pot and stir until a ball forms, about 3 minutes) kneed and cool.
An old school viewfinder, my husband had as a kid, he loves looking at the old sesame street slides.
A pack of Disney cars card game from the dollar store, my son isn't old enough to play cards but he recognizes the pictures and we can work on matching images
A light stick to explore
A few dollar store finds...flashcards (sesame street first words) a pencil and a pad of paper
A stack of new books checked out from the library.
If all else fails, try PBS lol!

We visited where my sister in law boards her horse. A lovely walk around the barn. We collected a bunch of natural treasures to centerpiece the table...
Here they are
A horse shoe
Pine cones
Tall grasses
Fresh hay

Simple things...collecting natural treasures remind us to appreciate the simple pleasures in life

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Real Christmas Tree vs Fake Tree

Pin It Now! As a child, I always had a real Christmas tree. When my mom was a child, the family would go on Christmas eve to pick out their tree and set it up undecorated. In the night, St. Nicholas and the elves would come decorate the tree and leave presents...this must have been a true delight Christmas morning. This year I want my almost two year old to experience,with most of his senses, everything a real tree has to offer.
picking it out
cutting it down
towing it home
letting it rest
decorating it
smelling it (hopefully he wont taste it)
watering it
cleaning up after it

There are lots of benefits to having both an artificial tree and a real tree. We own an artificial tree that we purchased after Christmas a few years back, on sale. Which is perfect for years that we spend holidays out of town with all of our family. Just because you own a fake tree already doesn't mean you must use it each year. This year we are staying put and love the idea of having a fresh cut Christmas tree in our little home. I cant wait until our home is encased in pine smell.

We are also helping out our local tree farmers buy purchasing a real tree. Millfarm Christmas Trees ...

Looking for a tree farm in your area..this is a great site!

Here is a photo our our "Charlie Brown" tree. The only outdoor lights we would hang would be in the back yard. On this tiny pine tree that we could see while watching the fire (ah wonderful memories)
cause really why do we put lights on our house...for our neighbors enjoyment or our own?

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Friday, November 16, 2012

A piece of me...seamstress style

Pin It Now! For those who don't know me or my story i'll share a little bit of me here and there.
In 2006 I moved (military style) to South Carolina. Leaving behind a job, in California,  I loved and amazing friends to start new in another part of our beautiful country. The uprooting and being sent somewhere you don't choose, is always abrupt, just when you find yourself getting comfortable. It's not easy, a bit exciting yes. Soon after the move I found myself looking for work and going completely stir crazy, stuck waiting for a break. I had this awful need to contribute financially in our marriage (no babies yet). I searched our small town high and low for anything to keep myself going. I saw an ad in the local newspaper for a seamstress job, "willing to train, machine sewing experience a must." This was my break! I ran out, bought a sewing machine and taught myself how to sew the rest of the day in preparation for the test the following day. I needed to at least know how to thread a machine.
I had dabbled in some sewing at this point but by no means was I any good. I smiled, I tried, and I got the job. I worked as a seamstress less than a year, but in the end it was no longer about making good ole minimum wage. The true value was in learning a craft. I wish the shop owner could have slowed down enough to appreciate and value herself, her business, and her employees. Needless to say I'm a go getter. The skill set I learned was invaluable. Life isn't about doing its about learning how to find something that you find rewarding and fulfilling. My next venture may be volunteering locally, working of course around my stay at home mommy job. I feel a calling to help those who are in great need, for I find myself truly lucky to even have a roof over my head. I often complain about the daily task of cleaning..then stop myself..because I'm sure there are people who wish they just had a home to clean.
Here is a piece of a picture I love. I'm sharing it with you like I'm sharing a piece of me...
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

rocking crockpot today

Pin It Now! My crockpot is rocking some chicken. No recipe followed just some stuff thrown in like boneless skinless chicken thighs, black beans, diced canned tomato, masa flour (for thickening) corn, little cream cheese, some homemade taco seasoning. Served with pickled jalapeƱos, avocado, shredded cheese, black olives and tortilla wraps..should keep the boys happy!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

todays side kicks

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Favorite blue ink pen
Mercury Dime (1945)  & Indian Head Liberty (1891) penny for button listings
Button I'm currently researching
Classic note pad
My old measuring tape found at Evies
My new favorite coffee cup, thanks Christmas Tree Shop :)

More info on Liberty Indian Head Penny
More info on Mercury Dime

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Chocolate chip "bakies"

Pin It Now! Cookies...who doesn't love a fresh baked homemade cookie from the oven?! Well I use to not bake them until two things happened.
1. A good friend told me her secret to perfect cookies is the perfect room temperature butter, take it out the night before you want to bake, ok easy enough.
2. The chocolate chip package says it makes 5 dozen cookies. We are a family of three, we never need that many cookies because then we feel the need not to waste and eat them all. So I discovered you can freeze the batter dropped on a cookie sheet as if you were to bake them. Just on the tray till they are firm, then you toss in a freezer bag and bake as needed. We usually do 5 or 6 at a time.

This makes for an easy dessert for when that unexpected company drops in. Also, no more guilt of over-consuming cookies. You can enjoy a warm homemade cookie anytime! These also make for great gifts..I been known to hand frozen cookie bags to neighbors!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tesla Quote

Pin It Now! “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” ~~ Nikola Tesla

Tesla on Etsy...Check it out here...

What would he be thinking of this electric car?! Tesla Model S motor trend car of the year!
who knew?!?
We saw more on Tesla on History Channels , Men Who Built America Series, episode JP Morgan. Catch up on episodes here..what a great show. Pin It Now!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Its the little things...

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These are a few of my favorite pieces of inspiration. First are the pieces that have been collected by my son...a rock (that I painted, a love token) a stick, he looked up at me with huge eyes, handed it to me and said stick (melted my heart) did the same thing with this little weed flower. A piece of beach glass we found while taking a break from our bike ride, Veterans Day. A seashell from Cape Charles VA, a birthday present. A cute white button with flowers that I found in a jar of ugly buttons. Antique oil lamp, I found antique shopping in Camden, South Carolina. A leaf I found on the beach in Yorktown..random, it was the only one around, and no trees. Roses with a yellow and black feather we found camping at Kiptopeke State Park, VA. A floral and gold plate I found at the flea market in Gloucester, and an old doily from my great grandmother that I dyed gray....follow me on twitter @littlethingsvin check out my etsy shop

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